Following a recent survey the Federation of Neighborhood Associations (FAOC) has said that over 80% of bus stops situated on the Orihuela Costa lack the very basic facilities of shelter, seating, information, timetables and signage.
At 40 of the 50 existing bus stops in the area, they say that it is totally unacceptable that passengers are required to wait for the arrival of a bus, unable to sit down or to shelter from the elements, especially in the current extremes of temperature.
They say that the lack of such basic services generates problems among the many older people, especially foreigners that are resident on the coast.
Waiting for the arrival of the bus at most of the stops in Orihuela Costa is an extremely risky practice, with many of them seemingly placed at random along the side of busy roads. Indeed actually finding places where public transport vehicles stop is not easy either, since information signposting is non-existent poles and many road signs are confusing.
As a result the Federation of Associations of Orihuela Costa has prepared a report showing all of the deficiencies detected in the service which it has now handed over to the City Council for their urgent improvements.
Orihuela Costa has two urban bus lines, red and blue, which connect the urbanisations with popular locations such as the health centre, the Town Hall and the shopping and leisure areas.
In total there are about 50 passenger stops, of which only 10 have a shelter and seating where users can wait for the arrival of the bus as well as being protected from the rain and, most importantly, the sun which is particularly fierce at this time of the year.
There are 40 bus stops (80% of the total) that only have an information signpost but many of these are inadequate as they provide very poor information, which makes it especially difficult for visitors to the area who can have very real problems in getting around the area.
Some of the stops don’t even have bus stop road markings, or a bench or a post, examples of which can be found at La Ciñuelica – Calle Escorpiones; La Florida – Calle Piscis, Villamartín-Avenida Las Brisas and Calle Richard Wagner. The situation requires extraordinary action such as the bus stop on the road to San Miguel de las Salinas, in La Regia, where residents themselves have placed a plastic chair and a sign that says, “please, do not steal the chair which is for the bus”.
The Federation has compiled it’s report with the help of its network of collaborators, as they highlight the fact that more and more complaints are being received, especially in the summer, with users requesting the installation of shelters similar to those that already exist at some of the more popular bus stops.
They have also asked the council, and in particular the Councillor for Transportation, Begoña Cuartero, and the Councillor for the Coast, Luisa Boné, to improve the facilities and the furniture available at stopping places including current timetables and other information.
They have also asked that stops are installed in those areas where there is not currently none, Punta Prima being just one example.
“We believe that the municipal investment required to ensure this action would be low if one takes into account the income derived from the publicity that the bus stops could carry”, a group spokesperson said. Once again, they highlight the fact that the residents of Orihuela Costa “suffer a historical shortfall in services and infrastructure, to which this shortcoming is added, which we believe can and should be corrected as soon as possible.”